i ai. >> and the world is better off because of his example this great man will be missed. but his contribons will live on forever. we send our heart felt sympathy to president mandela's president and to the citizen of the nation me loved. >> allen has more on nelson mandela's life. >> he was a prisoner and a president. a violent revolutionary and a moderate reformer. he was the face of change in turbulent south africa. his smile and his strength, power weapons in the fight for racial many people don't see it, against the government that applied. was on these savage
attacks. leave south africa away from decades of racial separation and minority, white rule, was born in manage fella grew up in a rural roadless area near born to tribal royalty, he was adopted and raised by a chiefton after his father's death when he was just nine. he was the first in his y to attend school, where a missionary teacher gave him the first name nelson. his political activism began in college. join as boycott to school. he moved to johann studies law, and joins the african national congress, a political party and resistence moving fighting the segregation that was so deeply divisive. that passed laws taking segregation to an extreme.
>> celebrated 3 million people to black homelands. denying their right to vote and travel. stripping them of citizen ship. nelson mandela was only 30. he soon became convinces peaceful demonstrations would never be enough to uproot the oppressive racist structure, so he helped form and run an armed guerilla movement. a campaign of bombings and sabotage against government targets in the early 60's, led to his arrest and prosecution, along with others in the movement. convicted by spared a death sentence, mandela would spend more than a quarter of a century, 27 years behind prison walls. 18 of those at the notorious robin island. through repression, and the violence focus the attention of the world on s racism.depth of south boycottability a the
economy became the most famous prisoner in the world. the powerful international condemnation, and growing domestic unrest chipped away atar par tide until finally mandela was released from prison. it was february 11th, 1990, the streets flowed with joy. vowing never to go back to what he called the black held of apartheid. i have spoken about in my lifetime. your brothers, your commitment, and your discipline. has released me to stand before you today. >> but freedom wasn't easy. mandela negotiating with
president fw declerk to reform the government had to play peace keeper, trying to temper escalading violence anc, and supporters of the freedom barty, who wanted no part of negotiations with the government that had helped him down for so long. thousands were killed in black on black fighting. also, his marriage to winny mandela, a powerful political force herself was crumbling, the woman who supported him so publicly during the long years of incarceration was accused of having affaired and being linked to some of the violence in south africa. they finally deviced. through it all, he led the country through broader democracy, and in 1984, he was able to vote for himself in a free election. he won, and was inaugurated as the first black president of his country. >> on this day, you took
destiny into your own hands. you decided that would nothing would stop you from electing the government of your choice. country's infrastructure. he met the white house, meeting with three sitting presidents. in 2002 george w. bush presented him with the medal of freedom. president obama met mandela once in 2005, when obama was a senator. after one term as president mandela stepped down. he did not slow his pace. his charitable foundation raised money for a variety of causes.
when south africa hosted soccer's world cup tournament in july 2010 he made his last major public appearance at the final game. the crowd honoured him with a thunderous ovation. his third wife, grassa michelle, the former first lady of mozambique was at his side during his battles with prostate cancer and lung infections that hospitalized him in the end. >> never, and never again, that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another, and suffer the indignity of being the scum of the world. the sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement.
god bless africa. thank you. nelson mandela dead at 95. >> let's get to the white house, mike viqueira is the white house correspondent and he has reaction from president obama to the death of nelson mandela. mike? >> about 50 minutes ago president obama came into the james brady briefing room. no secret to the fact that nelson mandela was an inspiration to the president. he told how he was not involved or interested in politics. at a student in the late "70s, early '80s, he was involved and inspired in the antiapartheid and divestiture movement.
he met one time in 2006. he had visited in 2005. he had visited south africa and robin island in 2006. and the president was just in south africa over the summer, in june with his family, didn't have an opportunity to meet with nelson mandela because of health reasons. the president said he cannot fully imagine my life - his life - without the example nelson mandela set. for long as i live i will do what i can to learn from him. let's listen to more of what the president had to say. >> we will not likely see the likes of nelson mandela again. so it falls to us, as best we can, to forward the example that he set, to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love. never discount the difference that one person can make, to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice. for now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that nelson
mandela lived. a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice. may god bless his memory and keep him in peace >> president obama said he has two big heroes, ma hat ma gannedy and nelson mandela. the question is whether he'll fly over for the uniform. i think he will >> now to ali velshi. you were with me, i'll read this line. i showed it to you. let me read it. "through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, madeva travelled south africa and moved all of us", here is the bit, think about this, "his journey from a
prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human being and countries can change for the better." think about that for a moment. >> this was not the day of fashionable political prisoners, where you were put in a neat place and kept aside. he was in hard labour, breaking rocks on robin island. known if you have seen the picture. it was white. he's blinded. they literally broke rocks for 18 years. it was meant to break him. he wrote books in that time, gathered those, he tutored befriended his white guards and came out and said, "i'm down, i did it. i set you guys up." and then became president. imagine being the first elected president of a free south africa. he did not call it a black south africa and was not the president for the black people. he said, "this is a country for
all africans, never again will this country live under oprotects." that he did... >> negotiating, having with pwbofer. negotiations with fq de-clare. >> the day he walked out of that gaol he had won the battle. south africa could be free one day, or not under him. he didn't have to do any of it. not only did he negotiate, he negotiated with compassion. senator patrick hay hi asked him about prison he said, "without prison i would they are have been able to do this." he felt joy. there are not many among us like this. >> we want to go to natasha. mandela visited the area. natasha, good to see you. how does the city remember that
visit all these years later? >> >> let me point the picture. it was june 28, 1990. his stop in south florida was part of a triumphant tour. some leaders regard what happened here as one of the darkest chapters, not only in the history of miami or' but the florida region. half-a-dozen leaders and the governor snubbed him. you have to wonder more than 20 years later after the visit and the snubbing, what is on the mind of the leaders. we wanted to interview them for the story you are about to see. all of them refused to speak with us. we spoke with an african american leader who met nelson mandela several times. we spoke to the mayor who put an end to the nonsense. he told me that the city of'
awarded the key to the city, to the movie character robo cop but refused to award a key to the city to one of the most transformative inspiring leaders in world history. >> honouring nelson mandela with a proclamation was not expected to be controversial. >> when i became mayor the thing seemed juvenile to me that they refused to issue a proclamation that they gave to the corner barr tender if he opened up the store. >> six area mayors and the governor denounced the leader after notwithstanding fidel castro, yasser arafat, and muammar gaddafi for his support. the cuban government provided assistance to the antiapartheid
movement, specifically nelson mandela's anc, african national congress. nelson mandela's position was i will not denounce anyone that helps me. your enemy is not my enemy. >> the powerful communities of south florida were outraged, pressuring leaders to snub nelson mandela. >> it was one of the best and worst days in the history of miami. nelson mandela came to miami, and we had an opportunity to hear and see this great man. unfortunately his presence here caused political leaders to snub him. >> that in term outraged and energised members of the african american community. an african american led tourist boycott was organised. >> a great fight for freedom that nelson mandela lived did not deserve for him to be
treated that way. >> the quiet riot lasted almost three years. >> the boycott was harming my city. we lost tourist trade because the black community was furious. >> former' mayor want to end the chapter in history and issued a proclamation for nelson mandela day. >> there was a firestone. some of my best friends stopping in the street, "how could you have done that?" there were phone calls. my wife received one saying, "let him burn in an oven", talking about me. i was fully aware of the political implications. i didn't give a dam. >> it would be another year before the boycott ended in 1993. smith said it was a success,
leverage to promote opportunities for african-americans and led to the construction of the first african american owned hotel and convention centre on miami beech. years later he met with nelson mandela after he became the president. >> what i learned was nobody hands you a dream. the bigger the dream, the less likely someone will hand it to you. >> how did nelson mandela view his treatment in south florida. smith said he forgave his detractors and understood where he was coming from. he hoped in the intervening years he respected his position, even if they did not agree with it. nelson mandela said that he hoped people south florida
realised he didn't condone the politics of castro, muammar gaddafi, and yasser arafat. he said they spoke out when few leaders did. it took three years and cost millions, he told the man you heard from in the piece that he was happy to see ultimately it appeared the community came together. >> that gentleman in your piece said something that ali and i responded to. no one hands you a dream. that is so, so true. and it's good to see you natasha. let's show the live pictures from johannesburg right now. a celebration for the life of nelson mandela, who passed away at the age of 95. when we come back we'll speak to our correspondent on the ground
>> welcome back to al jazeera america's coverage of the passing of nelson mandela. let's see a live picture from johannesburg as we go to our correspondent there. you are al jazeera english correspondent. we have a celebration, clapping, singing, music. let's bring in the correspondent. talk us through the early motels
in terms of reactions to the news of the death of nelson mandela. >> well things came quite as a surprise, the announcement. this is what happened. there were rumours going around that the family was meeting in the house at johannesburg. they denied and suddenly police went to the house and cordoned off the road. then there was an announcement by the president's office that there would be a state of the nation address. people thought, "that's okay, this could be it." president jacob zuma came on state television saying that nelson mandela passed away surrounded by family. people were shocked they thought it would be a gradual build-up. people thought the president might wait until people were awake during the day to make the
announcement. going forward. people came to the house. and like you said in those pictures, it's a celebration. people knew he was coming. he was 95. they knew the day was coming. they want to celebrate his life and achievements. the greatest thing for them is nelson mandela managed to teach people no matter what you go through or what anyone does,he came out and said, "i'm willing to forgive, i want my people to forgive and my nation to move forward, all the nations black, white, we are one people, let's move forward." to some extent it worked. he avoided a civil war. >> i'm curious, you mentioned a moment ago that the people of south africa knew what was coming. that was a 95-year-old man with
serious health problems. i know this, from your reporting, that it's not something you could speculate about in south africa. you were chastised, chided, you faced a stern rebuke if you did any kind of speculation on the health of nelson mandela in the months that he was in the hospital. the summer months when he was in hospital, and if you asked questions about his health in the period he returned home. am i right in that? >> you are very right. it was difficult as a journalist to tell the story, particularly when he was in and out of hospital. savness south africans see him as the father, they didn't want to hear any negative, they didn't want pictures of a hospital beaming
around the world or pictures of him with tubes. they wanted to remember nelson mandela as a strong man who walked out of prison in 1990 with his former wife winnie mandela. people were angry with journalists, particularly internation internation internation international journalists. the government would say nelson mandela is critical and stable. and the family talked and gave different opinions. it was confusing and difficult. he's the father, the icon, you don't talk badly about him. now that it's happened, people were expecting it. it is a shock now. he was 95 years old. the key thing is yes, he's gone. let's celebrate what he has done
and what we can learn. >> let's talk about south africa. the recent months were difficult. there's a mining strike that took its toll on the country. the a&c came under pressure for the way it handled the strike situation. what is the sense about the anc's leadership now and moving forward in the aftermath of the death of nelson mandela? >> well, the anc, the ruling party is the people's party. they have a lot of support. that said, people are questioning the before of some of the politicians, they are wondering where is the country going forward. the mining incident you spoke about, 16 august, when miners on strike were trying to call for higher wages. police aped fire. 34 were shot and killed.
the pictures shocked the world. they remind us of the apartheid dates when white policemen would shoot black people who were prote protesti protesting, calling for equality. i think the main thing of concern for south africans is nelson mandela taught them or encouraged them to forgive, forget and move forward. issues of employment and equality. people are frustrated. we are talking 20 years since independence. now we see more people striking. they are basically saying, "what are you going do as a government. now that the moral compass has gone, can the leaders move the place forward and make it a prosperous place and realised the love nelson mandela had for his people. >> what is the state of - sorry to put it broadly. what is the state of race relations now in south africa?
>> it's a lot better from the apartheid days. the party has come a long way. i'm a black african, and i have a sense of what it was like living in a place where because of the colour of your skin you are sidelined, dismissed or treated differently because people think your skin colour is not the right colour. things changed drastically. there are still problems. when you talk to people, quietly amongst themselves - white, black, people of mixed race. yes, they are south africans, but when you go to the nitty-gritty, the whites amass wealth, whites are still in charge - things have not changed. and the whites have concerns about black people. they are concerned that blacks
will rise up and take over land. there's issues playing out that need to be addressed. the key thing is can today's leaders move the country forward. it's a concern. i think the world, the country moved on from let's forgive each other for the past mistakes, but how can it move on economically as a country. so everyone benefits, what is happening now is that is what is happening. the rich are getting richer, and the poor black majority are getting poorer, angry and frustrated. every second day there's a trike. they want water, electricity, basic things that most of the world enjoys. they can't understand why africa's richest economy cannot provide those things. there's anger. the president government, jacob zuma, his administration, they have a lot of work to do. 10 days, two weeks. people are celebrating, then what? reality sings?
>> good to see you again. let's take a look at the live picture again as we get you to break. celebrating the life of nelson mandela. jump in here, ali. >> nelson mandela and the new president is no nelson mandela. south africa has some problems in front of of them. >> we'll take a break. after a break, this is al jazeera america.
>> we are back, welcome back to the continuing coverage of the death of nelson mandela. look at this. this is the apollo theatre in harlem. >> that's beautiful. >> memory of nelson mandela. >> remember the days before apartheid was over, you could go to harlem and buy the stalls that the guys were selling, "free nelson mandela." it was nelson mandela central.
>> i was actually in a room, in a theatre, and i can't remember the year. i've been trying to think of the year, and he was there. i saw stephen harper of canada, all of canada mourns with the family, and the citizens of south africa, the world had lost one of its great moral leaders. do we have a picture of nelson mandela the rugby team? >> yeah, there was a movie made about that. >> yes.
>> this is just a very telling moment. black people in south africa, played soccer, that's the june form that he is wearing when he came into power, the one thing his people told him is get ready of that oppressive white man's name and uniform, not only did he not get it of it he wore and it told these people, you are our nation, you are our team, and that was the enduring message. if you see the flag, nelson mandela all talked aability a rainbow nation. he dresses like a rainbow, but that flag is a true rainbow. it is a beautiful rainbow flag. there he is with the
spring bam uniform, with the spring back team. that green uniform, these are the symbols -- >> the rugby world cup trophy there. >> that's right. >> these are the symbols that destroy anise's fabric, and he worked hard to say we will not destroy, we will not replace. white does not become black, all of us are africans. >> she is a journalist, who has written about nelson mandela, what are your thoughts after this moment in time? >> well, we are all grieving, he had this strange presence of absence. because i grew up in a country where we spoke earlier this evening, i didn't get to see nelson mandela's face until i
was 27 years old and i left south africa. we knew he was there on the island, but the government was so successful at expunging him, from the physical landscape, that on the political and emotional landscape, he was on robin island. and for many years of our lives he was a presence that was accent. and then he became this man who took this brutalized and bruised nation, and made us feel better about ourselves. swell the victims of the system. and an extraordinary acts of states manship. he gave us an idea of what he could be. he is happened over the reigns, he said that's it, i'm moving on. >> how did he make you feel a part of the new south africa.
i was a journalist here, and formed -- is literally survived. what apartheid did, and i think why south africa had no idea who nelson mandela was. they had no idea what the afc was. when you become a perpetrator, and from a system that advantaging you, it destroys you as a human being. and nelson was exactly kind of what happened to. either gone along with the system, if they didn't know -- or somehow supported it.
i think it was ran extraordinary act of humanity. i think that's why you see -- >> this is terrific. i want ali velshi, my colleague to talk to you as well. because he has a wonderful story, a family story, about south africa. >> bly family grew up in that system, and when i went back to live there back in the late 90's. i really what seemed very sincere. i had heard from them that so many of these white africaners because of the censorship, really did not have a sense, they had a sense of the an c as a terrorist organization, and the white community as living under siege. and they southeasternly had an entirely different narrative. they truly seemed to
believe -- >> i grew up in an immigrant neighborhood. my mother was portuguese, and we were sounded by many engineers later -- explaining that the afc was formed in 1812. we get rally angry with me and said you go back to england, or portugal, and i feel in a way that nelson mandela allowed somebody like him to find his humanity again. it is very difficult, as you say.
so it was possible in a sense, possible looking out of your window and seeing the oppression. which i am surprised people didn't see. so yes, the country we come from, and what nelson mandela has lead us to is nowhere near what it was. >> today these two cities there's nothing between them, really, but when you drive through and it you see the down ship of al expand drea in the middle, it was built so that white people could drive. is really never see it. you could see beyond some trees and then you go off and there would be several million people living without electricity, and without running water who came to be your gardners and your servants and would clean your car and do those kind of things. it is really quite remarkable the apparatus of the apartheid
government that was able to run this government. where 5% of the people thought that's how it was. >> defendant extraordinary, and they tried to remove nelson mandela from the physical landscape. if you were found with a book, you were arrested. all images of him -- managed to get a copy, and every single photograph of nelson mandela, we didn't know what he looked like until people started sketching him in the early 90's when the talked had trickled out so yeah, a very very different place. we have a lot of problems that are -- but allowing us -- almost in a sense
coming out and saying you are all beautiful. you are all good. you are aural okay. we needed that. >> let me ask you about the future, we just had our al jazeera english correspondent on the air with us, and she was talking to us about the legacy of the anc, and years since he was president of the country, and the difficulties that the country -- difficulties that the country is having moving forward. what are your thoughts about the future of this country that is still your home and you love? >> i am always optimistic. think why i am is because i know what ordinary south africans have accomplished in the past, and i am watching them accomplish it again.
and when we get angry, we throw stones. and we throw stones whatever government is refusing us or not. we see at the moment, controversial issues in the media, surrounding our president, but there is a sense that south africans -- any government that feels threatens by media will in a sense attack. but we with have institutions we have a constitution. we have opposition parties. we have chapter nine organizations. we have many ngo whose have agitated and lobbies for the change of education. we are not giving government easy ride, and i thank nelson mandela for that. south africans love democracy, many people died for it. many many people died for it.
i think we are effecting the same effect of the recession, over the -- and trying our best. of course, we have other problems, many of them a legacy, but many of them of our own san francisco, but i have such in ordinary people, and we'll use the ballot. and nelson mandela gave us the right to do that, and i have no doubt in the next election, or the one that comes afterwards that democracy will survive in this country. >> tell me something, you have given such good perspective. there was a ruling on somebody -- it was very clear, this person had been in the apparatus of power, policeman fora secret serviceman. and was thought to be guilty of a lot of crimes.
nelson mandela came out and said this is a country that respects the rule of law. perhaps you are thinking of is killing of chris americanny. >> >> yeah, that we talked about earlier. >> yeah, and it was really a nice edge at the time. and the right wing operative i think, and the interesting thing is that mandela saw that moment so beautifully, wins on national television, and just he knew -- i wanted to remember that a white woman reported the crime, and saw the culprit. so he must not make this a racial issue. and so clear in his analysis of what happened.
a very very tense moment. which is exactly the point. that was a key moment. >> thank you so much. he was a young leadser at the time, and it was one of those moments that butt the country on a five's edge, marian, an author joining us from cape town south africa. appreciate your time, thank you. reaction from around the world.
he tweeted this picture that said i will never forget my friend. also former vice president, writes today marks the passing of one of the world's great leaders and visionaries nelson mandela, farewell. john cane, senator john cane writes, rest in peace nelson mandela, whose courage and character enspires south africa and the world. also david cameron, prime minister of the,k wrote a great light has gone out, nelson mandela was a hero of our time, i have asked the flag to be thrown at half mass. we are so fortunate to have lived in his time. and speaker john boehner wrote, mandela led his country with a quiet moral authority that
directed his own path from prisoner to president. and bill gaits wrote this, he tweeted every time melinda and i met nelson mandela we left more inspired than ever. his grace and courage changed the world, this is a sad day. russell sill monos tweeted this picture, that says at ankle rush and i with the esteemed leader nelson mandela. tony. terrific reaction and photos. continue to sort of mine that for us. >> we have picture when we come back, nelson mandela's influence on the world of sports. s welcome back, everyone
>> nelson mandela even extended into the rugby world cup, to essentially lot about that, how was a he able to do that? we have turned to yahoo sports analyst, who covered the international sports scene, and he joins us from los angeles. really the way he embraced the south african team, which is a team that was followed by the white community. it has 14 white players in the staterring line-up, and only one
black player. but mandela made it clear to the country that this was a scene that everybody should get behind. the white community, and the back community. he stepped out on to the field, in johannesburg wearing the dark green jersey, a jersey that has been a symbol in many ways of apartheid. and he fully embraced it, and the black community followed behind him, and that was one of the critical factors in bringing south africa together. >> was nelson mandela being encouraged by members of his own party, not to embrace this team, in the way that he ultimately would? new england certainly he was. he lad the vision that this was something more powerful. the powerful of sports and the power of national pride to help bring this country together. and he was very much on his own with it. this was clearly his vision, he wasn't acting on the advice of other people.
he just strongly had a feeling. he described it many times afterwards just a strong inner feeling that something good was going to come of this. i don't know if you were there in 94, but you heard accounts of what that day was like. share with us some of the accounts that you have heard from that day when he enters the stadium and the reaction in that stadium on that final day. for that final match. >> it was something that was still spoken out very strongly, and a lot of parallels were drawn between these two events. there was quite an eerie silence, and then suddenly, the crowd came together, they started chanting his name. and it was just this deafening roar, and a real sense of passion.
at the united south africa, and that's why it was seen as so significant. this came less than a couple of years after mandela had been released from prison, and then being installinged as a south after caleader. anyone who was there on that day said they will never forget it as long as they live. >> let's flashforward, what was it the closing ceremonies for the football -- i'm sorry, soccer world cup. and those moments. >> there's actually a huge sense of anticipation, we are talking four years ago, that mandela was already in poor health. and there was a desire on the part of him and the organizers to be present at the closing ceremony. but no one was sure if he would be able to. he suffered a family tragedy, and his health was failing him, but then he did appear, about an hour before the kick off
between spain and the netherlands he appeared on the field, and just this incredible war erupted and this outpouring of what can only be described as love for one man, that did so much to bring one nation together, but to inspire the world. and it was something that was bigger than sports, it was bigger than the world cup, just a fabulous thing. let me ask you something, i don't remember the presentation, but i am sure he would have been a key pivotal part of the presentation to win the world cup for south africa, correct? >> i honestly think south africa couldn't have won the right to host the world cup without him. he was a pivotal part of it, and it wasn't a message that was in your face, but it was kind of understated. here is the guy who is really inspired our country. we have moved forward, and it was felt that now is the right time.
>> i was there when it happened. >> you were there? >> so let's take a look at the pictures from johannesburg. as we wrap things up for this hour, john will be joining you in just a couple of minutes here on al jazeera america. ali your thoughts again. >> i want to carry up on the sports thing. and there were the dutch, the africaners the english played cricket.
you are beautiful, you are part of us, he owed nobody reconciliation, and he said against the wishes ofize hundred people, and bunch of africaners that weren't interesting in wearing that jersey. he said i am everybody's president. >> and your family connection, and your families president. >> my family goes back to 1900 in south africa, and gandhi and nelson mandela, and the antiapartheid struggle. i can't decide if this is one of the saddest days i have ever covered or one of the happiest. >> what are your thoughts about the future of the country. >> there are huge brocks. >> problems in every country. >> there are huge problem as lot of disparity between the rich and the
poor. but it's got hope. right there in the streets of johannesburg. it has major major struggles. it remains the economic engine of africa. except when you are that badly off, when you have 60% unemployment, some people still don't have lights their path is much longer than ours will be. but i remain -- i have been hopeful since i saw him walk out of prison in '90, i was hopeful since the election. >> ali, thank you, thank you my friend. and that concludes our coverage for just a couple of minutes, we are going to take a break, my colleague will be joining you a momentarily, again, al jazeera continuing coverage of the death of nelson mandela. we are back in just a moment. blame
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african president.h it is 7:00 p.m. eastern time here in new york, 2:00 a.m. in johannesburg where mourners are gathering. they are celebrating the life of south africa's first democratically elected president. you looking at the scene. a man who became a towering symbol for civil rights for strength, for unity.